Industry

Ayala Corp. Snaps Up Qualimed

The conglomerate has acquired a controlling stake in MGHI.
IMAGE AC HEALTH
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Ayala Corp. is expanding its healthcare business with its acquisition of a controlling stake in health and hospital network Mercado General Hospital Inc., or Qualimed, the company announced Tuesday (December 22).

The company is acquiring MGHI through Healthway Philippines Inc., a subsdiary of its AC Healthcare Holdings Inc (AC Health).

Qualimed owns or has interests in several hospitals, clinics, and research centers across the country. It includes four hospitals, namely Qualimed Sta. Rosa located in Nuvali, Qualimed San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, Qualimed Iloilo in Iloilo City, and Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center in Tanauan, Batangas; an ambulatory surgical center in UP-PGH; and clinics in Makati, Quezon City and in Cebu IT Park.

AC Health will acquire a 54.2 percent interest in MGHI through the purchase of common and preferred shares from Whiteknight Holdings Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc (ALI), as well as the purchase of common shares from private individuals under the Mercado Group that owns 15 percent of the capital stock shares of MGHI.

Healthway will also subscribe to 38,250,000 cumulative, redeemable, and non-participating preferred shares from White Knight and Mercado Group equivalent to 34.51 percent of the outstanding capital stock of shares of MGHI, which will bring Healthway’s voting interest in MGHI to 70 percent.

According to a disclosure with the Philippine Stock Exchange, the acquisition of interest in MGHI "allows AC Health, through Healthway, to add a hospital platform in its portfolio. The addition of a hospital platform to the AC Health portfolio will allow it to leverage operational efficiencies and to offer a full suite of services across the full continuum of care."

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“With the acquisition, AC Health will now have four general hospitals, more than 85 outpatient clinics, and about 80 corporate clinics, as well as the country’s first cancer specialty hospital which the company announced previously,” AC Health said in a news release posted on its website

“We have always believed in Qualimed’s vision to deliver accessible and affordable healthcare to Filipinos,"said Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of the Board of AC Health. "Over the past few years, we have built a strong partnership between Qualimed and Ayala Land and we are delighted to integrate Qualimed into AC Health’s growing portfolio. The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed the Ayala Group’s commitment to invest in healthcare, and with this investment, we will be better positioned to provide much-needed healthcare services for the country.” 

“We are delighted to be part of the AC Health family,” said Dr. Edwin Mercado, president and CEO of Qualimed Health Network. “During this pandemic, our partnership with AC Health to upgrade our hospitals and to build our COVID-19 labs has been pivotal, allowing us to serve thousands of patients across our network. It is this collaborative spirit that will ensure Qualimed’s continued growth during these challenging times. Qualimed has always endeavored to make healthcare more accessible, and we hope this partnership will allow us to accelerate that vision even further.” 

According to AC Health, Qualimed Sta. Rosa and San Jose Del Monte were converted into full-scale COVID-19 Referral Hospitals through upgrades on facilities and manpower. Each hospital was also equipped with its own modular-type BSL-2 laboratory for COVID-19 testing, in support of the IATF’s T3 (Test, Trace, Treat) program. To date, Qualimed has seen about 30,000 confirmed and suspected COVID patients, and has performed over 82,000 COVID tests.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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